Matthew 9:6 ... the Son of man has power on earth to forgive sins

Spoken to: 

audience then an individual

Context: 

Spoken about and then to the paralyzed youth brought to him.

Greek : 

My Takeaway: 

Jesus can decide to show his power.

KJV : 

Matthew 9:6 But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins...Arise, take up thy bed, and go unto thine house.

NIV : 

Matthew 9:6 But I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.”...“Get up, take your mat and go home.”

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

There are a number of unexpected aspects to this verse. First, the word order, which is more flexible but also more important in Greek than English is very different than the translation. Next, the tense of the word translated as "may know'  so "might have known." The word used for "power" is more specific that the general idea of ability. However, the big difference here is the meaning of the words translated as "to forgive sins".

Wordplay: 

 The wordplay about rising from the dead in the previous verse is strengthened here. "Lift up your cot" also means "remove (or exalt) your grave bed." "Go into your house" also has the sense of "going home." 

Related Verses: 

Greek Vocabulary: 

ἵνα (adv/conj) "That" is from hina, which means "in that place", "there", "where", "when", "that", "in order that", "when," and "because."

δὲ (partic) "But" is from de which means "but" and "on the other hand." It is the particle that joins sentences in an adversarial way but can also be a weak connective ("and") and explanation of cause ("so") and a condition ("if").

εἰδῆτε (2nd pl perf subj act) "Ye may know" is from eido which means "to see", "to examine", "to perceive", "to behold", "to know how to do", "to see with the mind's eye," and "to know."

ὅτι (adv/conj) "That" is from hoti, which introduces a statement of fact "with regard to the fact that", "seeing that," and acts as a causal adverb meaning "for what", "because", "since," and "wherefore."

ἐξουσίαν (noun sg fem acc) "Power" is from exousia which means "control", "the power of choice", "permission", "the power of authority", "the right of privilege", "abundance of means," and "abuse of power."

ἔχει (verb 3rd sg pres ind act) "Hath" is from echo, which means "to have", "to hold", "to possess", "to keep", "to have charge of", "to maintain", "to hold fast", "to bear", "to keep close", "to keep safe," and "to have means to do."

(article sg neut dat)  "The" is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the").

υἱὸς (noun sg masc nom ) "The Son" is from huios, which means a "son," and more generally, a "child." --

τοῦ (article sg neut dat)  "The" is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the").

ἀνθρώπου (noun sg masc gen) "Of man" is from anthropos, which is "man," and, in plural, "mankind." It also means "humanity" and that which is human and opposed to that which is animal or inanimate.

ἐπὶ (prep) "On" is from epi which means "on", "upon", "at", "by", "before", "across," and "against."

τῆς (article sg neut dat)  "The" is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the").

γῆς (noun sg fem gen) "Earth" is from ge, which means "the element of earth", "land (country)", "arable land", "the ground," and "the world" as the opposite of the sky. Like our English word "earth," it means both dirt and the planet.

ἀφιέναι (pres inf act) "To forgive" is from aphiemi, which means "to let fall", "to send away", "give up", "hand over", "to let loose", "to get rid of", "to leave alone", "to pass by", "to permit," and "to send forth from oneself."

ἁμαρτίας— (noun pl fem acc ) "Sin" is from hamartia, which means "to miss the mark", "failure", "fault," and "error." Only in religious contexts does it become "guilt" and "sin."

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Ἔγειρε (2nd sg pres imperat act) "Arise" is from egeiro, which means "to awaken", "to stir up," and "to rouse."

ἆρόν (2nd sg aor imperat act) "Take up" is from airo, which means "to lift up", "to raise", "to raise up", "to exalt", "to lift and take away," and "to remove."

σου (pron 2nd sg gen) "Thy" is from sou which means "you" and "your."

τὴν (article sg fem acc)  "The" is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the").

κλίνην [6 verses](noun sg fem acc) "Bed" is from kline, which means "that on which one lies", "couch," and a "grave-niche."

καὶ (conj) "And" is from kai, which is the conjunction joining phrases and clauses, "and," or "but." After words implying sameness, "as" (the same opinion as you). Used in series, joins positive with negative "Not only...but also." Also used to give emphasis, "even", "also," and "just." -

ὕπαγε (verb 2nd sg pres imperat act) "Go" is hypago, which means "to lead under", "to bring under", "to bring a person before judgment", "to lead on by degrees", "to take away from beneath", "to withdraw", "to go away", "to retire", "to draw off," and "off with you." --

εἰς (prep) "Unto" is from eis, which means "into (of place)," "up to (of time)", "until (of time)", "as much as (of measure or limit)", "as far as (of measure or limit)", "towards (to express relation)", "in regard to (to express relation)", "of an end or limit," and "for (of purpose or object)."

τὸν (article sg masc acc)  "The" is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the").

οἶκόν (noun sg masc acc) "House" is from oikia, which means "house", "building," and "household."

σου. (pron 2nd sg gen) "Thy" is from sou which means "you" and "your."

KJV Analysis: 

But  - The Greek word translated as "but" joins phrases in an adversarial way. Since it always falls in the second position, translating it as "however" often captures its feeling better.

that  - The word translated as "that" is a word that means "there", "where," and "in order that."

ye -- This is from the second-person, plural form of the verb.

may -- This helping verb "may" indicates that the verb indicates a possibility. Helping or auxiliary verbs are needed to translate the Greek verb forms into English.

know  - (WT) The verb translated as "know" means literally "to see", but it is used like we use the word "see" to mean "to know" or "to perceive." In the KJV translation, it looks like the future tense, but the tense is the past, an action completed in the past. have known." The "may" comes from the verb's mood, one indicates a possibility.

that  The second "that" is a different word from the first "that." This one introduces a statement of fact or cause.

the -- The word translated as "the" is the Greek definite article. The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this", "that", "these", "those"). See this article for more. 

Son -- The phrase "the son of man" is the common way Christ refers to himself. It is discussed in detail in this article. Its sense is "the child of the man." The word translated as "son" more generally means "child" or "descendant". The Greek word for "of man" in the singular means "person" and "humanity" and "people" and "peoples" in the plural.

of -- This word "of"  comes from the genitive case of the following word that required the addition of a preposition in English.  The most common is the "of" of possession, but it can also mean "belonging to," "part of", "which is", "than" (in comparisons), or  "for", "concerning" or "about" with transitive verbs. 

untranslated "the"  -- (MW) The untranslated word is the Greek definite article, which usually precedes a noun and, without a noun, takes the meaning of "the one." The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this", "that", "these", "those"). See this article for more. 

man - The Greek word for "man" means "man", "person" and "humanity" in the singular. In the plural, it means "men", "people", and "peoples".

hath  - The word translated as "hath" means "to possess" or "to keep" but it isn't used in the same way as a "helper" verb that the English "have" is.

power  - The term translated as "power" isn't the "power" of skill or energy but of authority, control, and the ability to make a decision. This is the "power" that comes down through channels of authority. This word also does not have an article ("the") in front of it, so it is "a power" not "the power".

on  -- (WP) The word translated as "on" is a preposition that "upon", "at," or "against."The phrase "on earth" doesn't follow the word translated as "power", nor does it seem to modify that word. It follows the phrase, "the son of the man." However, in Mark 2:10  it does follower "

untranslated "the"  -- (MW) The untranslated word is the Greek definite article, which usually precedes a noun and, without a noun, takes the meaning of "the one." The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this", "that", "these", "those"). See this article for more. 

earth  - The word translated as "earth" means the physical planet or ground, not society. Christ uses this word as the opposite of "the sky", which is the realm of that which is beyond nature. Normally, Christ discusses authority as part of human society, translated as "the world" in the KJV. See this article for more on these words.

to  -- This "to" is added because the infinitive form of the verb requires a "to" in English

forgive  - (WW) The word translated as "forgive" primarily means "to let go" or "to send away." This same word is usually translated as "leave", "forgive", "suffer," and "let" in the New Testament. See the article before on the concept of "forgiving sins".

sins  -  WW) The word translated as "sin" is a form of a word that means "to fail in one's purpose", "to neglect," and "to be deprived of." It has no sense of doing malicious evil in Greek. The best English translation is "mistakes" or "failures" rather than what we commonly think of as the evils of "sin." See this article for more information and context.

...

Arise, - (WW) The word for "arise" means "awaken" and is the same word Christ uses to describe God raising the dead and false prophets arising.

take up  - The word translated as "take up" means "lift up" but it also means "to remove" and "to exalt"

thy   -- (WW) The word translated as "thy" is the Greek definite article. The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this", "that", "these", "those") that the English "the." See this article for more. 

bed, - The word translated as "bed" means "that on which one lies," but it also means a "grave-niche." This word is rare for Christ to use.

and  - The Greek word translated as "and" is used as the conjunction "and", but it also is used to add emphasis ("also") and, In a series, it is best translated as "not only...but also."

go  - "Go" is a Greek verbal command that means literally "go under" or "bring under," but Christ usually uses it to mean "go away" and "depart."

unto  - The word translated as "unto" means "into" a place, "towards" as a direction, and "up to" limits in time and measure

thine -- The word translated as "thy" is the genitive form of the singular, second-person pronoun, which is most commonly the possessive form. This pronoun follows the noun so "of yours."

untranslated "the"  -- (MW) The untranslated word is the Greek definite article, which usually precedes a noun and, without a noun, takes the meaning of "the one." The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this", "that", "these", "those"). See this article for more. 

house  - The Greek word translated as "house," in Christ's time, was not only the physical building but the whole household, its members, its property, business interests, and position in the community, all connected to the "name" of the head of the house.

KJV Translation Issues: 

9

WT - Wrong Tense - The verb is in the past perfect tense, an action completed in the past, so it should be "have recognized" or "have known."

MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" before "man" is not shown in the English translation.

WP -- Wrongly Placed -- The word "on" doesn't appear after "earth" but after "man."

MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" before "earth" is not shown in the English translation.

WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "forgive" should be "let go."

WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "sin" should be "mistakes."

WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "arise" should be "awaken."

WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "thy" should be "this."

MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" before "house" is not shown in the English translation.

NIV Analysis: 

But  - The Greek word translated as "but" joins phrases in an adversarial way. Since it always falls in the second position, translating it as "however" often captures its feeling better.

untranslated "in order that"  -- (MW) The untranslated word"that" is a word that means "there", "where," and "in order that."

I want -- -- (IP) There is nothing that can be translated as "I want" in the Greek source.

you -- (WF) This is from the second-person, plural form of the verb "know" not the object of "want" because there is no ver "want."

to -- (WW) This "to" should be a "may" because the verb is not an infinitive. This helping verb "may" indicates that the verb indicates a possibility. Helping or auxiliary verbs are needed to translate the Greek verb forms into English.

know  - (WT) The verb translated as "know" means literally "to see", but it is used like we use the word "see" to mean "to know" or "to perceive." In the KJV translation, it looks like the future tense, but the tense is the past, an action completed in the past. have known." The "may" comes from the verb's mood, one indicates a possibility.

that  The second "that" is a different word from the first "that." This one introduces a statement of fact or cause.

the -- The word translated as "the" is the Greek definite article. The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this", "that", "these", "those"). See this article for more. 

Son -- The phrase "the son of man" is the common way Christ refers to himself. It is discussed in detail in this article. Its sense is "the child of the man." The word translated as "son" more generally means "child" or "descendant". The Greek word for "of man" in the singular means "person" and "humanity" and "people" and "peoples" in the plural.

of -- This word "of"  comes from the genitive case of the following word that required the addition of a preposition in English.  The most common is the "of" of possession, but it can also mean "belonging to," "part of", "which is", "than" (in comparisons), or  "for", "concerning" or "about" with transitive verbs. 

untranslated "the"  -- (MW) The untranslated word is the Greek definite article, which usually precedes a noun and, without a noun, takes the meaning of "the one." The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this", "that", "these", "those"). See this article for more. 

man - The Greek word for "man" means "man", "person" and "humanity" in the singular. In the plural, it means "men", "people", and "peoples".

has - The word translated as "has" means "to possess" or "to keep" but it isn't used in the same way as a "helper" verb that the English "have" is.

authority - The term translated as "authority means authority, control, and the ability to make a decision. This is the "power" that comes down through channels of authority. This word also does not have an article ("the") in front of it, so it is "a power" not "the power".

on  -- (WP) The word translated as "on" is a preposition that "upon", "at," or "against."The phrase "on earth" doesn't follow the word translated as "power", nor does it seem to modify that word. It follows the phrase, "the son of the man." However, in Mark 2:10  it does follower "

untranslated "the"  -- (MW) The untranslated word is the Greek definite article, which usually precedes a noun and, without a noun, takes the meaning of "the one." The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this", "that", "these", "those"). See this article for more. 

earth  - The word translated as "earth" means the physical planet or ground, not society. Christ uses this word as the opposite of "the sky", which is the realm of that which is beyond nature. Normally, Christ discusses authority as part of human society, translated as "the world" in the KJV. See this article for more on these words.

to  -- This "to" is added because the infinitive form of the verb requires a "to" in English

forgive  - (WW) The word translated as "forgive" primarily means "to let go" or "to send away." This same word is usually translated as "leave", "forgive", "suffer," and "let" in the New Testament. See the article before on the concept of "forgiving sins".

sins  -  WW) The word translated as "sin" is a form of a word that means "to fail in one's purpose", "to neglect," and "to be deprived of." It has no sense of doing malicious evil in Greek. The best English translation is "mistakes" or "failures" rather than what we commonly think of as the evils of "sin." See this article for more information and context.

...

Get up, - (CW) The word for "get up" means "awaken" and is the same word Christ uses to describe God raising the dead and false prophets arising.

take up  - The word translated as "take up" means "lift up" but it also means "to remove" and "to exalt"

your -- (WW) The word translated as "your" is the Greek definite article. The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this", "that", "these", "those") that the English "the." See this article for more. 

mat, - The word translated as "bed" means "that on which one lies," but it also means a "grave-niche." This word is rare for Christ to use.

and  - The Greek word translated as "and" is used as the conjunction "and", but it also is used to add emphasis ("also") and, In a series, it is best translated as "not only...but also."

go  - "Go" is a Greek verbal command that means literally "go under" or "bring under," but Christ usually uses it to mean "go away" and "depart."

unto  - The word translated as "unto" means "into" a place, "towards" as a direction, and "up to" limits in time and measure

untranslated "the"  -- (MW) The untranslated word is the Greek definite article, which usually precedes a noun and, without a noun, takes the meaning of "the one." The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this", "that", "these", "those"). See this article for more. 

home - The Greek word translated as "home," in Christ's time, was not only the physical building but the whole household, its members, its property, business interests, and position in the community, all connected to the "name" of the head of the house.

untranslated "of yours"  -- (MW) The untranslated word is the genitive form of the singular, second-person pronoun, which is most commonly the possessive form. This pronoun follows the noun so "of yours.

NIV Translation Issues: 

13

MW - Missing Word -- The word "in order that" is not shown in the English translation.

IP - Inserted Phrase-- The phrase "I want" doesn't exist in the source.

WF - Wrong Form -  The "you" is not the orject of a verb but its subject.

WW - Wrong Word -- The word "to" should be "may" or "should."

WT - Wrong Tense - The verb is in the past perfect tense, an action completed in the past, so it should be "have recognized" or "have known."

MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" before "man" is not shown in the English translation.

WP -- Wrongly Placed -- The word "on" doesn't appear after "earth" but after "man."

MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" before "earth" is not shown in the English translation.

WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "forgive" should be "let go."

WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "sin" should be "mistakes."

CW - Confusing Word -- The word translated as "get up" should be "awaken."

MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" before "house" is not shown in the English translation.

WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "your" should be "the."

Front Page Date: 

Aug 6 2020